Ford has come up with a means by which big data could potentially help cities identify locations which, if nothing is done, are most likely to be the scene of future traffic incidents.

The company tracked vehicle journeys in the city and logged highly detailed driving data from driving events such as braking, the severity of that braking, and even where hazard warning lights were applied. This helped to identify “near-misses”. Ford then cross-referenced this information against existing accident reports and built an algorithm to determine the likelihood of where future incidents might occur.

Ford is committed to delivering smart vehicles for a smart world – and each vehicle in the study was equipped with a simple plug-in device that recorded the journey data and then sent it to the cloud for analysis. Data scientists from Ford’s Global Data Insight and Analytics team were then able to analyse the information through an interactive dashboard. This technology could be applied in any road environment, not just in cities.